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Senior volunteer program looking for new office space

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Though the previous owners of the property at 501 E. Caroline St. hail the tenants as wonderful, a recent sale forces Retired and Senior Volunteer Program employees to find new office space.

RSVP Executive Director Janice Ayres is seeking at least 2,500 square feet of new or used office space.

“We’ve not been through a situation like this before,” Ayres said Thursday. “We’ve always outgrown where we’ve been.”

The property was owned by James and Jo Matthews, longtime residents of Carson City. After the recent death of her husband, Jo chose to sell the property.

“She decided it was too much for her to take care of and decided to sell. And it sold quickly,” Ayres said.

“We’re not blaming anybody. She’s a very nice lady. It’s just the way it worked out.”

Ayres said she has made inquiries to property available in Carson City and does not like what she’s hearing for rental rates.

“Rents are way out of reach,” she said. “They want anywhere from $1 to $1.30 a square foot. We are currently paying $1,450 a month. If someone has a lot of space they haven’t been able to rent, we (RSVP) could give them a tax write-off.”

Ayres said property managers can call her at the RSVP office if they would like to discuss a deal. She can be reached at 687-4680.

Ayres said she would like to continue paying $1,450 monthly rent. It is possible the rental agency or owners could chose to call anything above that a donation and then could write it off on their income taxes because RSVP is a nonprofit.

“We need to stay in Carson City. But we’re not particular about where in town we are. It’s important for our transportation program.”

Of the 400 programs offered, the most vital to the community are Lifeline, Home Companion and Care Law. The Carson City office is responsible for 16 of 17 counties in the state. Clark County has its own office.

Ayres, who has been director for 26 years, said she has 1,800 volunteers to help with the 400 programs.

“This is our eighth location,” Ayres said. “Jo Matthews sent me a letter saying we’ve been wonderful tenants. And if her husband hadn’t passed away, she would never have sold and done this.

“She could have asked us to go out in 30 days. But she’s been real nice, and the new owners agreed to let us stay until October.”

Ayres said she was hoping to stay at the East Caroline Street location until a rental grant was submitted for a building to be completed through the Reynolds Foundation. The building is part of the city’s Master Plan for several nonprofits to share in east Carson City, near Centennial Park.

“We will still submit the grant application in July. We just need a temporary place until we get grant approval and the new building gets built.”

n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.